Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It Begins Again... (AT&T)

I've been enjoying stable "Elite" DSL service (6 Mb/s download) for about 5 years now.  Time to update to AT&T's "Uverse" service?  It just arrived in my neighborhood.

Southern New England TelephoneImage via WikipediaMy initial DSL service was a pretty grim story. SBC took over the Connecticut territory from SNET not long before.  (SNET, of blessed memory, was a member of the original Bell network, having been Connecticut's own phone company for a very long time.  Sigh!)

Surely, AT&T would have figured out their new Uverse TV/Internet/Voice technology by now. Nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong.

Actually, they've made 3 errors so far just scheduling the installation, and I've had to talk to 4 or 5 people on the phone.

The interesting technical issue is that their internal database shows that I am supposed to be 733 feet from the "node" (VRAD) in my neighborhood.  But, tracking real phone cables, I come up with some long zigs and zags that may add up to triple that number.  So there's a chance the tech will show up (at the newly appointed hour, we hope) and declare that my connection would be substandard.  And the whole thing is off.

I'm not canceling my Comcast TV just yet.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Required Reading (FCC)

Image via Wikipedia
Logo of the United States Federal Communicatio...
(From the FCC Dept. of Ugly Logos)
My Amateur license is coming up for renewal.  Logging in to the FCC's Universal Licensing System (ULS) to make a correction, I came across this interesting language:
Amateur or GMRS applicant/licensee certifies that the construction of the station would NOT be an action which is likely to have a significant environmental effect (see the Commission's rules 47 CFR Sections 1.1301-1.1319 and Section 97.13(a) rules (available at web site http://wireless.fcc.gov/rules.html).

Amateur applicant/licensee certifies that they have READ and WILL COMPLY WITH Section 97.13(c) of the Commission's rules (available at web site http://wireless.fcc.gov/rules.html) regarding RADIOFREQUENCY (RF) RADIATION SAFETY and the amateur service section of OST/OET Bulletin Number 65 (available at web site http://www.fcc.gov/oet/info/documents/bulletins/).
 So I guess I better read up:
Then there is the ARRL book "RF Exposure and You" by Ed Hare. ($22.95 from ARRL or $9 used at Amazon.com)  That's on my shelf, as it happens. Now I better crack it open.

Silly me, I thought applying for and receiving an FCC license meant you agreed to follow the rules.  But no, I have to promise extra hard and agree to read all this in advance.

Glad to know every other ham has done that!